About

O.K. – The Musical is an evolving project directed by Christopher Kline, based around the history and lore of his hometown Kinderhook, New York.

The project shifts in form between exhibitions, publications, socially engaged community projects, videos, performances, and online platforms. Expanding and contracting in size and scope since 2014, each new iteration focuses on a small selection of micro-histories, synthesized through processes of research and collaboration.

The long index of collaborators below represents efforts in areas of the project including singing, acting, set-making, playing an instrument, costuming, organizing, documenting, and many other facets of research and production. Collaborations range from several days to several years.

Past iterations have taken place at institutions in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Spain, with participants from all over.

 

About The Title

O.K. is perhaps the most widely used and understood word in the world. While many people have heard one tale or another as to its etymology, the preeminent theory is that it arose as part of a Boston language fad in which an abbreviation was given, followed by its comical misspelling in parentheses. For example, “everything’s O.W. (oll wright)”.

This fad included limitless combinations and was used widely in print in the 1830s. O.K. (oll korrect) was one of many, and it would’ve died out like the rest of the trend if it weren’t for the 1840 US Presidential reelection campaign of Martin Van Buren. Nicknamed Old Kinderhook after his hometown, his supporters latched on to the use of O.K., and called themselves the O.K. Club, sloganeering that “O.K. is O.K.!” Though he failed to win re-election, the term stuck. Here it is used as a title, starting point and metaphor for how small-town peculiarities find their way into broader, unexpected uses and forms.

In addition to Van Buren’s troubled presidency, O.K. – The Musical revisits other early cultural exports and anomalies originating in Kinderhook, such as the post-colonial tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, as well as moments throughout history ranging from the so-called Mohican’s first interactions with explorer Henry Hudson and his Dutch crew, the rise of The Shaker ministry in nearby New Lebanon, and a series of Bigfoot sightings in the 1980s.

 

Reinterpreting History

O.K. – The Musical is characterized by a collaborative approach toward reinterpreting conceptions of history, truth and legacy, often utilizing the model of a community theatre as a generative tool. Its inclusive structure and environment attempts to reflect the make-up of an actual community and its members’ varying perspectives, skills, and interests. Utilizing satire, tropes and hyperbole, the project explores what can be learned or gained by focusing lenses, both amateur and professional, on analyzing and synthesizing a small town’s obscure history which is usually written only from within. Particular attention is paid to folklore and oral histories which often embody the essence of a place but can tend to be overshadowed by official accounts.

By treating Kinderhook as a microcosm not only of the United States but of the world at large, the project traces back the local history to the very formation of its landscape 4.5 billion years ago and explores its role in human settlement and subsequent development. Through the inclusion of outside communities, the project reframes often subjective historical narratives, addressing themes such as imperialism, race, gender and class to interrogate whose version of history survives and proliferates, and why. Such non-dominant perspectives are interwoven with myth-making, folklore and anecdotes as a means of further exploring the past.

Through meticulous development over years to come, and the inclusion of a growing number of interpretations both local and foreign to Kinderhook, the musical is designed to become a cultural export which itself may be reabsorbed back into the town’s historical cannon.

 

Thanks

Christopher Kline would like to warmly thank all of the collaborators listed below as well as the many people of Kinderhook who have assisted with this project thus far. Special thanks to the local historians and researchers who provided invaluable background knowledge and research material including Dominick Lizzi, Ruth Piwonka, Conrad Vispo, Bruce G. Hallenbeck, Warren Applegate, Ann Scharoun from Friends of Lindenwald, and Anna Thompson from The Columbia County Historical Society.

 

Collaborators

a

Aaron Weldon

Abigail Sanders

Adam Joachim Goldmann

Alex Enzlin

Alex Wainwright

Alexander Coggin

Alexandra Morton

Alexis

Alice Bolton

Alice L. Chilton

Alison Hobbs

Alma Gudmundsen

Amanda Platt

Amber Regan

Amelia Rose Caine

Amy Worsley

Ana Alenso

Ana Iwataki

Anabell Edwards

Anastacia Marshal

Andor Horvath

Andrea Heffernan

Andrea Iskau

Angela Muñoz

Angela Palmer

Anna Frost

Anna Hansen

Anna Maria

Anna Patterson

Anna Poulsen

Annabel Debaenst

Annabella Baptista da Cruz

Anne Smart

Anne-Cécile Desjardin

Annette Bailey

Arístides Santana

Ashanti

Ashlyn Hunter

Ayana

Ayla Aron

b

Barbara Davenport

Barbara Jenner

Becky Waite

Bergur Thomas Anderson

Beth Cropper

Betti Kuli

Blue Room

Bo Wielders

Bob Fulton

Bozhidar

Brenda Burton

Brigitte Louter

Bruce G. Hallenbeck

c

Callum McQueen

Carol Thomas

Carole McCourt

Carolina Jiménez

Cath Ford

Cecilia Jensen

Cecilie Henriksen

Cecilie Høg

Chantelle O’Toole

Charlotte Corser

Charlotte Van der Haer Richardson

Chelsea Hoskins

Chris Hughes

Christopher Kline

Cilla Higgins

Clara Madsen

Clara Pallí Monguilod

Clémence Manachère

Crystal Quinney Barella

d

Dafna Maimon

Dale Cook

Daniel Lynch

Daniel Willcox

Daphne Simons

Darby Siver

David Berger

Debbie Divine

Debbie Goldsmith

Dee Spencer

Denise Wright

Derek Howard

Diana Ford

Dina Bedin

Dmitri van den Wittenboer

Dominik Noé

Don Kreye

Dulce Maria Ong Cabili

Dünya Atay

e

Edd Schouten

Elena Adorni

Elisabeth Wood

Ella Hebendanz

Ellen Brønden

Ellen Friis

Ellie Markham

Ema Quinn

Emilie Olsen

Emily Edwards

Emily Friedman

Emily Mottram

Emily O’Brien

Emma Brusie

Emma Folan

Emma Hoskins

Emma Howes

Emma Jørgensen

Emma Moss

Enna Mikkelsen Mahieu

Enrico Centonze

Erika Obeng-Boateng

Ernesto

Ethan Hayes-Chute

f

Felix Bodin

Fi K. Hornby

Filippa Edvars

Firehue

Floris Kruidenberg

Frank Millington

Frank Warenn

Frederikke Missel

g

Gaia

Gareth James

George Rix

George Roberts

Giovanna Munari

Glennis Brown

Graham Thaxton

GroundUP Burnley

h

Hanne Lippard

Hayley Gruby

Henrik Vestergaard

Hollie Hoskins

Holly Goldsmith-Jones

Houda Ben-Dahman

i

Ian Jones

Ichabod Crane Elementary

Igrah Hussain

Ilona

Ilse van der Hoeven

Ines Delgado

Ingeborg

Ingrid Øhensclæger

Ioana Ciora

j

Jack Conway

Jacqueline Dexter

Jacqueline Gaughan

Jake Ryan

James Thorne

Jan Booth

Jan Pfeiffer

Jan Smith

Jane Smith

Janet Lawton

Jean Collinge

Jemima Pyne

Jen McCool

Jenna Gill

Jenny Humphreys

Jeroen van der Hulst

Jesi Khadivi

Jessica Williams

Jo Lea

Jo Taylor

Joan Pinnington

Joana Pedro

Joanna Szproch

Joanna Zielińska

Joanne Hargreaves

Joe Clark

Johan Gustavsson

Johannes Rasmussen

John Holten

John McCusker

John Partington

John Prescott

Johnny Krog

Jon Edgley

Jon Hering

Jonas Hansen Tchikai

Jonathan Platt

Jonathon Beaver

Josefine Thrige

Josh Henderson

Joyce Huston

Julia Arnez

Julia Szewczak

Julian Evans

Julian Sirre

Julie Olsen

Julie Petersen

Junghyun Kim

k

Karen Askew

Karen Johansen

Karen Scott

Kasia Stefanowicz

Kasia Sztarbała

Kat Shock

Katharina Schnäcker

Kathleen Whelan

Kathrin Wagner

Katie Waters

Katie Wynne

Katrine Henriksen

Kayla Dewata

Kenny Ashton

Kerry Roche

Kevin Holme

Khalissa Amghar

Kim Smit

Kita Vielfalter

Kristýna Markovičová

l

Laura Aquilina

Laura Parsons

Lauren King

Lauren Reid

Layla

Leanne MacKay

Leia Harrington

Lena Hulpowska

Leo

Leo Zylberberg

Leonardo Scarin

Lewis Scott

Léa Lanoë

Lia Vandel

Linda Hargreaves

Lindsey Fryer

Lisa Scarlet

Liv Krohn

Liz Ford

Lo Specchio Youth Theatre

Loaf

Lorenzo Quint

Lorenzo Sandoval

Lorraine Connor

Lorraine Griffiths

Lorraine Hanlon

Louis Roberts

Louise Crawford

Lubaba

Lucca Andreassen

Lucy Melkowski

Lukas Jarl Darslund

Lynn Hudson

Lynn Robinson

Lynsey Turmore

m

Malou Den Dekker

Maravilha Pedro

Marcus Turner

Margaret Gill

Margaret Hindle

Marguerita Johnson

Marian Masik

Marie Eisen

Marie Graftieaux

Mario Campos Castellano

Mario Margani

Mark Jones

Marlot Meyer

Marta Pedro

Martin Fuller

Martin Herr

Martin Kohout

Martje Verhagen

Matt Bown

Matthew Latiolais

Matthias Hofmann

Max Bach

Max Wall

Maxwell Simmer

Meike Touw

Melanie Robson

Melanie Velarde

Mellanie Raun Skjold

Melle de Groot

Mercan

Mersey Wylie

Michael Birchall

Michael Murphy

Michael Roach

Michele Seipelt

Mike Pinnington

Mike Stout

Mille Klausen

Mira Gezen

Miriam Siebenstädt

Miro Herak

Mollie Olesen

n

Naomi Wilson

Natalie Peacock

Natasha Baadsgaard

Nathan Norton

Nefes

Nick Hunt

Nikki Kennedy

Nora Mayr

Nosteah

Nzuzi Musungu

o

Oda Rasmussen

Oliver Vester

Olivia Berning

Olivia Vesterdal

Ornella Balhi

Oskar Eriksen

p

Paloma

Pamela Soria

Pamina

Parveen Akhtar

Pat Stringer

Patricia Macdonald

Patrick Burkhardt

Pau Pahana

Paul Arámbula

Paul Aylward

Paul Brown

Paul Davenport

Paul Heß

Paul Robertson

Paul Sheard

Pauline Carney-Broster

Pebbles

Philip De Goey

Phillip Foxley

Phillip Wellbelove

Phoebe Gauther

r

Rachel Pedro

Ramon Ottenhof

Raphaella Davies

Rebecca Marcussen

Robbin Heyker

Robin Jones

Robyn Elizabeth Whittle

Rochana Pedro

Roger Sinek

Ron Tran

Ronja Gustavsson

Rory Ballantyne

Rosa Dalle Vedove

Rosehannah Heathfield

Royal Court Theatre Community Choir

s

Sam Morgan

Samara Regan

Samuel Leuenberger

Sandra Moolgoaker

Sara Løve Daðadóttir

Sarah Cain

Sarah Parker

Sarah Whatmough

Sercan

Seymen

Shani Leseman

Shirley Fellows

Siham Karroum

Silke Aastrandsen

Simon Jones

Sílvia Torrus

Sofie Andersen

Sol Calero

Sonja Pierie

Sonya Connolly

Sophia

Sophie

Sophie Barends

Stephen Ainscough

Stephen Foley

Steven Taylor

Strandgårdskolen

Sue Kay

Sue Reddish

Susan King

Suzanne Quesney

Suziie Davis

Sylvia Morris

t

Tallulah

Tamar Hemmes

Tea Palmelund

Terry Gray

The Choir With No Name

The Logan Family

Theodore Glickman

Theresa Patzschke

Thomas Bjørkå

Thomas Romana

Thorsten Nass

Tom Rooney

Tony Carroll

Tony Simonsen

Tracy Warden

Trevor Good

v

Valentine Leroux

Valley Street Textiles Studio

Vasiliki Giakoumi

Verna Walker

Veronica Watson

Victoria Podemska

Viktoria Olsen

x

Xenia Germundsson

y

Yegyeong Cha

Ylva

Yvonne Goodwin

z

Zoe Kreye

Zoë Claire Miller